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Apple explains why Stage Manager is only available on M1 iPads [Update]

Wwdc 2022 Ipados 16 Stage Manager
Wwdc 2022 Ipados 16 Stage Manager (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple revealed Stage Manager for the Mac and iPad at WWDC 2022.
  • The new feature automatically resizes and organizes apps and windows.
  • It will only be available on iPads with the M1 processor.

Update, June 13 (5:15 pm ET): Apple has released another statement explaining why Stage Manager is limited to M1 iPads.

We finally know why Stage Manager is only available for iPads with the M1 processor.

At WWDC 2022, Apple revealed a new feature for iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura called Stage Manager. The new feature automatically organizes apps and windows, allowing you to multitask but have Apple handle your usually cluttered desktop.

Stage Manager is an entirely new multitasking experience that automatically organizes apps and windows, making it quick and easy to switch between tasks. For the first time on iPad, users can create overlapping windows of different sizes in a single view, drag and drop windows from the side, or open apps from the Dock to create groups of apps for faster, more flexible multitasking. The window of the app users are working on is displayed prominently in the center, and other open apps and windows are arranged on the left-hand side in order of recency.

iPadOS 16 Stage Manager

iPadOS 16 Stage Manager (Image credit: Apple)

Unfortunately, Stage Manager is only available to iPads with the M1 processor. In a new report from Digital Trends, Apple has given an explaination as to why. According to the company, the feature is reserved to M1 iPads due to it being needed to handle iPadOS 16's memory swap feature.

According to Apple, Stage Manager is exclusive to M1 chips because of iPadOS 16's fast memory swap feature — something Stage Manager relies on quite heavily. Similar to what we've seen on Android devices, this process allows apps to convert storage into RAM for more horsepower. Stage Manager allows users to run up to eight apps going at once, some of which can ask for up to 16GB of RAM. In other words, it demands a lot of resources. As such, the new window management feature needs M1 for smooth performance.

So, if you're looking to enjoy Stage Manager with iPadOS 16, you're going to need either the 5th generation iPad Air, 3rd generation 11-inch iPad Pro, or 5th generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Update, June 13 (5:15 pm ET) — Apple has released another statement explaining why Stage Manager is limited to M1 iPads.

Shared by Rene Ritchie, Apple has released another statement explaining why the Stage Manager feature on iPadOS 16 is only available on iPad models with an M1 processor. You can read the full statement below:

"Stage Manager is a fully integrated experience that provides all-new windowing experience that is incredibly fast and responsive and allow users to run 8 apps simultaneously across iPad and an external display with up to 6K resolution. Delivering this experience with the immediacy users expect from iPad's touch-first experience requires large internal memory, incredibly fast storage, and flexible external display I/O, all of which are delivered by iPads with the M1 chip."

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Joe Wituschek
Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

6 Comments
  • My first question is. Can I disable Stage Manager? I really wanted them to give me ability to disable App Library as I hate that thing.
  • I would *love* to be able to disable App Library. It's like buying a bike that has training wheels for kids that cannot be removed.
  • App Library is the dumbest, most useless thing I have ever seen. The groupings are totally arbitrary. Safari is NOT a utility. Files and Mail are NOT “Productivity and Finance”. VLC is NOT “Creativity”. 🙄 Please do away with this nonsense.
  • So basically, iOS is s**t in even handling simple multitasking functions so much so that even with a “Desktop Class” chip is still a bit too much. Mind you, the hardware is amazing, but iPad needs to leave iOS behind almost completely. I am not talking about MacOS either as we have a Mac for that, but a true hybridOS where the iPad could flourish rather than going through the identity crisis Apple is forcing it to go through.
  • Apple's pre-M1 Developer Transition Kit from 2020 ran macOS Big Sur - with full windowing, multitasking and swapping capabilities - just fine on an A12Z Bionic processor, the same chip used in 2020/4th gen iPad Pro devices. However the DTK also had 16GB of RAM, while the older iPad Pro only had 6GB vs. current iPad Pro M1 models which have 8GB or 16GB.
  • No one buys an iPad to do heavy multitasking. Virtual Memory on an iPad is pointless. PLEASE stop trying to turn an iPad into a Mac. Or worse, into Windows. I already have Macs and Windows. I skipped 13. There is nothing in 16 that I want either.